MEET THE FACULTY
Award Winning Internationally Trained Professionals
HILLARY KRIEGER - TOTH
Hillary Krieger-Toth has over 25 years of classical ballet experience. She began her dance training at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, studying under the expert guidance of well-respected dance instructors such as: John Magnus, Eleanor D'Antuono, and Francesca Corkle. Her training continued at the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah, one of the country's leading ballet programs, with highly esteemed instructors such as: Conrad Ludlow, Attila Ficzere, Bene Arnold, Sharee Lane, Maureen Laird, and Richard Wacko. Krieger has attended numerous summer dance programs including: Boston Ballet, BalletMet, and the Joffrey Summer Workshop in San Antonio, Texas. Following graduation, Krieger-Toth continued her training at the Greensboro Ballet Company as a professional dancer and full-time instructor, after which she then lent her expertise to Columbia Classical Ballet for two years as a performer, choreographer and teacher. Krieger-Toth is completely trained in the Cecchetti, Vaganova, and French styles of classical ballet, as well as in diverse styles of modern and international character folk dance. She is also a certified Pilates matt instructor. Krieger - Toth has participated in numerous public outreach activities including teaching ballet classes for an after-hours school program. She has performed in local venues all over Columbia.
Gabor Toth, Co - Owner, Co - Artistic Director, Founder of SSB began his formal dance training at the world-renowned Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Toth is trained extensively in the arts of ballet, folk dance, acrobatics, stage dance, acting, historical dance, pantomime, partnering, and contemporary dance. Upon graduation, he was awarded a scholarship to the School of Alicia Alonso in Madrid, Spain, where he received instruction in Spanish folk dance and classical ballet. Following this, Toth made his American debut as an intern with the Greensboro Ballet Company, where he perfected his knowledge of American techniques, styles, and choreography. Toth has utilized his extensive knowledge of movement with some of the most accomplished dance companies in the world, including: Music World, a national dance festival and competition in Fivizzano, Italy; performances in "Majismo" and "El Gran Baile" in Madrid, Spain; as well as in "AIDA" in Budapest, Hungary. In spring 2000, he came to Carolina Ballet to be in the premiere productions of Lynne Taylor-Corbetts Cabaret. Lynne Taylor-Corbett is known for her work in theatre, ballet and film. She was nominated for Tony Awards for her direction and choreography of Broadways Swing! and for two American Theatre Wing Star Awards for its National Tour. She choreographed Chess and Titanic on Broadway and the feature films Footloose, My Blue Heaven and Vanilla Sky. Her ballets have been commissioned by New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet. Toth's experience includes professional productions of both contemporary and classical ballets. During his two-year stay as a dancer and instructor at Columbia Classical Ballet, Toth played a vital role in choreographing dance sequences for "The Nutcracker", "Jekyll and Hyde", and "Lifechance".
Modern, Theatre Terrance is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Vibrations Dance Company-South Carolinas premier contemporary multi-ethnic dance company. Terrance is Director of the modern Program at Southeastern school of Ballet. He is also on faculty at Columbia Ballet School and is the Artist-in Residence at Logan Elementary School where he has been teaching dance and theater for over 10 years. Terrance received the Bronze Leo Award at the 2009 Jazz Dance World Congress for Outstanding Jazz Choreography, was the 2009 Artist Fellowship recipient in Dance Performance, was chosen in 2005 as one the states Tope 10 Artists under age 30, and has twice been nominated for the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner (SC Governors Award) for the Arts. While Terrance was still a student at USC, his choreography caught the eye of the late Fernando Bujones, who invited him to set one of his most requested solos, "That's Life" on dancers in the Orlando Ballet. A solo choreographed by Terrance for dancer Brooklyn Mack, received an award for Outstanding Contemporary Choreography at the 2004 Youth Grand Prix. Terrance is also a member of the TRUSTUS theater company and does choreography for theaters, school, and professional companies across the country.
Amy Shivar has studied ballet, jazz, tap, liturgical and modern dance for most of her life. As a student, she trained in the Cecchetti and Vaganova methods of ballet, danced in a civic ballet company for six years, attended summer intensives, and performed extensively. While in college, Amy performed with the UNC-G Dance Company and the theatre department in musicals, operas, and short works by faculty and students, receiving a BFA in Dance Performance from UNC-Greensboro in 1991. She spent 1993-94 studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Following college, Amy appeared in a variety of ballets and musicals, and choreographed numerous pieces and shows. In 1996 she began study at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, receiving a MA in Intercultural Studies in 2000. Currently, Amy is a certified member of Cecchetti USA where she serves on the East Coast Committee as recording secretary and Assistant to the Head Chaperone. Through CUSA, Amy has submitted numerous students for examination by a national examiner. She has been teaching in South Carolina since 2004, and has been on faculty of the SC Baptist Creative Ministries Festival for many years. As a teacher, Amy seeks to impart the love of classical ballet and other disciplines to her students through thorough training, enthusiasm, and dedication.
Emily Jordan has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern and musical theatre dance for almost all of her life. She has worked with some of today's most renowned contemporary choreographers including Jason Parsons, Lauren Adams, Sonya Tayeh, Travis Wall, Kirsten Russell, & Andrew Winghart. After graduating she received her Associates degree in Dance in New York City at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. There she performed in many choreography workshops and studied acting and singing on top of her dance curriculum. Since then, Emily has taught and choreographed for schools in New York as well as in South Carolina
Tab&Kait each started their love for dance at the age of two at local competitive studios in Columbia, SC where they continued for 15 years, competing and performing in all styles of dance. Both Tab&Kait also danced with their high school dance companies for all four years, where they found their love for Contemporary, Modern, and Safety-Release. Tab&Kait later met at Columbia College (SC) where they studied Somatic & Modern techniques and served several positions on the board of the dance company. While in college they studied and researched various teaching methods and created their own style for teaching dance/movement. In 2019, Tab&Kait began traveling the midlands teaching, as well as created dance collaborative “IGNITED” — a place for adult dancers to continue their love for the art form; in 2023 IGNITED will enter its 5th season.
Szabolcs (Sabi) Varga received his training at the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary. In 1997 he was named "Best Young Dancer" at the International Rudolf Nureyev Competition. Upon graduation he joined Alberta Ballet under the direction of Mikko Nissinen. There he performed principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Helgi Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon. In 2002 Nissinen invited Varga to join Boston Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to second soloist in 2004 and to soloist in 2006. His repertoire with the Company includes Mikko Nissinen's Swan Lake (von Rothbart) and The Nutcracker (all principal male roles), Rudi van Dantzig's Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote (Espada), Val Caniparoli's Lady of the Camellias (Gustave), Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, and Lambarena, Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew (Lucentio), Jorma Elo's Plan to B, Carmen (Escamillo), In on Blue, Le Sacre du Printemps, George Balanchine's Duo Concertant and Serenade, Helen Pickett's Etesian, Lucinda Childs' Ten Part Suite, Mark Morris' Up and Down, David Dawson's The Grey Area, James Kudelka's Cinderella, Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée, and Jiří Kylián's Sarabande, No More Play, Petite Mort, Sechs Tanze, Symphony of Psalms, and Bella Figura.
Petra Conti was born in Italy in 1988 from an Italian father and a Polish mother. She graduated with honors from the National Academy of Dance in Rome in 2006. At the age of 17 Conti has been invited by the Arena di Verona Ballet as an étoile guest to perform her first full length ballet, Cinderella. In 2007, she joined the Mariinsky Ballet Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, to prepare major ballet roles with Elvira Tarasova. In 2008 she became part of the Bavarian State Ballet Company.
In 2009 she has been invited by former director Mahar Vaziev to join La Scala Ballet Company. She was appointed Prima Ballerina at La Scala in 2011. In 2013 Conti accepted the invitation from artistic director Mikko Nissinen to join Boston Ballet as a Principal Dancer. Conti has been awarded with the title of Ambassador of the Italian Dance in the World in 2014. She has been named the Anna Magnani of ballet (Panorama magazine, 2012) because of her exceptional acting skills. Conti has danced alongside worldwide famous dancers like Roberto Bolle, Ivan Vassiliev, Massimo Murru… Conti studied drama with Kuniaki Ida from 2009 to 2011 at the Arsenale Theater in Milan. In 2010 TV channel SKY Classica produced an entire documentary about Conti entitled "Dancers of tomorrow", highlighting her performances of Giselle, Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote.Conti is married to International Principal Dancer Eris Nezha. She is also currently earning her bachelor’s degree in Science of Leadership at Northeastern University.From the season 2017-2018 Conti is a Principal Dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet, CA. In the summers of 2017 and 2018 Conti has been invited back to her native Italy to perform the Slave in "Aida" on the enormous stage of Arena di Verona (chor. Susanna Egri; chor. Vladimir Vassiliev). About 14.000 people attended every show... Because of her international fame, she has been asked to become the Artistic Consultant for the Liceo Coreutico-- Educandato "agli Angeli" in Verona, Italy. In the Autumn of 2018 Miss Conti has performed alongside Royal Ballet's First Soloist Fernando Montano at the 26th International Ballet Festival Alicia Alonso in Havana Cuba. Conti has been acclaimed for her artistry and stage presence, and according to the most important Cuban ballet critics and aficionados, Conti has brought back to Cuba the greatest Italian Ballet, which has been missing since the days Carla Fracci last performed in Havana. In the Spring of 2019 Miss Conti has been invited by the Great Russian Ballet to perform the title role of Giselle for 13 shows all around Canada. Conti has been acclaimed and greatly appreciated for her artistry and technical excellence by the Canadian audience. On May 18th 2019, the first ever PETRA CONTI SHOW premiered in Downtown Los Angeles. Alongside Conductor Daniel Suk and his Dream Orchestra, Petra Conti starred in I'M GONNA LIVE FOREVER, an original show that unites the beauty of performing arts ( dance, live music and vocals) to create an evening of pure artistry and unforgettable emotions. This performance has generated so much momentum and success on its debut night, that the next Petra Conti Show has already entered the list of one of the most awaited shows of 2020 in LA! In the summer 2019 Conti has been asked by Arena di Verona to perform not only in the opera Aida for the 3rd consecutive year, but also in the new production of La Traviata -- the last majestic work of Franco Zeffirelli. The opening night of La Traviata has been broadcasted worldwide on June 21, 2019. In February 2020 the popular media-channel Freeda, in collaboration with the brand Furla, produced a video about Miss Conti called My Life as Petra Conti. Petra Conti served as Judge for YAGP, YBM and Milano Dance competitions.
Eris Nezha was born inTirana, Albania. He graduated from Teatro alla Scala Ballet School (Milan, Italy) in 2002, and immediately joined La Scala Ballet Company, where he later was promoted to Principal Dancer. With La Scala Nezha performed leading roles on international tours in Brazil, Russia, Oman, Poland, Israel, and Japan. In 2013 Eris Nezha has been invited by Mikko Nissinen to join the Boston Ballet as a Principal Dancer. From the 2018-2019 season Eris is a Principal Dancer with Los Angeles Ballet. Nezha has danced with famous guest artists including Svetlana Zakharova, Natalia Osipova, Polina Semionova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Somova and Eleonora Abbagnato, Hee Seo, Petra Conti. Eris Nezha has performed in some of the most renowned theaters in the world, like the Bolshoi, the Staatsballett in Berlin, the Kremlin, the Dolby Theatre, the Arena of Verona, the Operas of Muscat, Kiev, San Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Ekaterinburg, Zagreb, Tirana, Rome, Naples, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto, Fukuoka... Mr. Nezha is the Producer, main Choreographer and Artistic Director of The Petra Conti Show, an original performance in collaboration with Dream Orchestra, which has successfully debuted in Downtown LA in 2019. The much awaited second edition of the show is scheduled to be performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 17, 2020. In 2019 Eris Nezha choreographed Time, which has gained international relevance and interest after it has been performed for the first time at the Ballet Open Space Gala in Kyiv.
Ryosuke Ogura, from Japan, started his training at Sapporo City Ballet under Mika Ogura. In 2002 he competed in the Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York City and received a scholarship to the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC, where he studied under Anatoli Kucheruk. In 2005 he received a scholarship to Harid Conservatory and studied under Oliver Pardina. In 2007 he joined Milwaukee Ballet II and trained with Rolando Yanes, Mireille Favarel, Karl von Rabenau. In 2008 Ryosuke joined Atlantic City Ballet, under the direction of Phyllis Papa where he performed corps to Principal roles in Dracula, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. In 2010, he joined Columbia Classical Ballet, Artistic Director Radenko Pavlovich, and performed in The Wizard of Oz, Cabaret Night, The Nutcracker and The Hunchback. Now in his seventh season with City Ballet of San Diego, Ryosuke has performed the Cavalier in The Nutcracker, The Seasons, Carmina Burana, C-Squared, Requiem, the Gypsy King in Don Quixote, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Raymonda Variations, Bowed Piano, Esmeralda and the Hunchback, Carmen and Kaschei in The Firebird. In George Balanchine’s ballets, he has performed in Allegro Brillante, Serenade, Square Dance and the principal roles in Walpurgisnacht Ballet and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and the company’s premiere of Peter Martins’ Ash
Attila Bongar trained with the Hungarian Dance Academy. Upon graduation, he attended the Eurovision Ballet Competition in France and then joined the corps de ballet of the Hungarian National Ballet. In 2000, he joined Carolina Ballet where he danced for 12 seasons and was promoted to a principal dancer. In 2005, Mr. Bongar choreographed and staged his first ballet, The Miraculous Mandarin, to music by Bela Bartok. He later created additional company works including Choreocalligraphy, Guernica, Departed, and many more. Mr. Bongar has received grants from the New York Choreographic Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jerome Robbins Foundation. Aside from choreography and performance, he also enjoys tennis, classical music and cosmology. In 2014, Mr. Bongar co-produced the inaugural Dancing for the Cure, a charity event benefiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the Columbus Symphony, BalletMet and guests artists from across the nation.
Emily Entingh trained in Southern California and at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. She joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, and in 2011 was chosen to represent Houston Ballet at the International Youth Dance Festival in Budapest, Hungary. Entingh joined Boston Ballet II in 2012 and became a company member in 2014. She was promoted to second soloist in 2019. Her repertoire includes Florence Clerc’s La Bayadere; Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty; Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake; John Cranko’s Onegin; Leonid Jakobson’s Rodin and Pas De Quatre. Harald Lander’s Etudes; Sir Fredrick Aston’s Cinderella; Justin Peck’s Increases; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, Glass Pieces and Fancy Free; George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, Serenade, Coppelia, Jewels, Symphony in Three Movements, Episodes, and Theme and Variations. Entingh has performed featured roles in William Forsythe’s Pas Parts 2018 and Blake Works I; Jorma Elo’s Bach Cello Suites; Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; and as “Myrtha” in Larissa Ponomarenko’s staging of Marius Petipa’s Giselle.
Deborah Madden Zippel MS, RD, LD
Deborah is the Nutrition Consultant for the Southeastern School of Ballet. She is a registered/licensed dietitian with more than twenty years of sport nutrition, wellness, and eating disorder counseling experience. As a former collegiate athlete and a Division 1 university sport nutritionist, she understands the importance of diet for performance and is passionate about helping others develop a healthy relationship with food. Deborah has served as an adjunct nutrition instructor and intern mentor at several universities during her career span.Deborah received her Master’s degree in Preventive Medicine from the University of Iowa and her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Iowa State University. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness dietetic practice group and has been active on state and local dietetics boards.
Dennis Dotson, Sports Physical Therapist
Dennis is a Sports Physical Therapist who specializes in treating dancers. He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Augusta University and is currently employed by Drayer Physical Therapy, where he completed the Sports Residency program.
Dennis developed his love for dance growing up in Charlotte, where he participated in competition dance through a local studio. Although his favorite genre of dance was Hip Hop, he learned and performed many styles of dance, including ballet.
Dennis strives to make a difference in the dance community of Columbia through education, injury prevention, and skilled rehabilitation.